REVIEW OF IPCC PROCESSES AND PROCEDURES

 
Background Documents

Final decisions by the IPCC

Procedures


Governance and Management


Conflict of Interest Policy


Communications strategy

On 10 March 2010, the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and the IPCC Chair, Mr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, asked the InterAcademy Council (IAC) to carry out an independent review of IPCC processes and procedures. The IAC responded positively to that request and issued its report and recommendations on 30 August 2010. The recommendations contained in the IAC Report Climate Change Assessments - Review of the Processes and Procedures of the IPCC are listed here.
 
The IPCC considered the recommendations in detail at its 32nd (11-14 October 2010), 33rd (10-13 May 2011), 34th (18-19 November 2011) and 35th (6-9 June 2012) Sessions. Four Task Groups were established to address issues related to procedures, governance and management, conflict of interest policy, and communications strategy. In the following sections, the final decisions taken by the IPCC in response to the IAC recommendations are summarized. Further details about the consultations and decisions leading to the final decisions referred to below can be found in the Reports of the 32nd, 33rd, 34th and 35th Sessions of the IPCC and on the webpage of the respective Session.


 

Evaluation of IPCC's Assessment Processes

The recommendations by the IAC contained in Chapter 2: Evaluation of IPCC's Assessment Processes with respect to participation in scoping meetings, author selection, source of data and literature, handling the full range of views, report review, Summary for Policy Makers and Synthesis Report, were addressed by the IPCC at its 32nd, 33rd, 34th and 35th Session and reflected in the revised Appendix A to the Principles Governing IPCC Work - Procedures for the Preparation, Review, Acceptance, Adoption, Approval and Publication of IPCC Reports.
 
At its 33rd Session, the IPCC adopted the Protocol for Addressing Possible Errors in IPCC Assessment Reports, Synthesis Reports, Special Reports or Methodology Reports. The handling of potential errors identified after the approval of IPCC reports was addressed in Chapter 2 of the IAC report, but did not result in an explicit recommendation. The Protocol is mentioned here for its relevance to the review of IPCC processes and procedures.


 

IPCC's Evaluation of Evidence and Treatment of Uncertainty

The recommendations of the IAC contained in Chapter 3: IPCC's Evaluation of Evidence and Treatment of Uncertainty informed the Guidance Note for Lead Authors of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on the Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties, which was endorsed by the Panel at its 33rd Session.


 

Governance and Management

Recommendations made in Chapter 4: Governance and Management were addressed by the IPCC in the following manner:
 
a. IPCC Management Structure
The Panel at its 33rd Session decided to establish an Executive Committee and agreed on its terms of reference, composition and mode of operation.
 
b. The IPCC Chair and the IPCC Bureau
At its 33rd Session, the Panel agreed on Terms of Reference of the Bureau and Roles, responsibilities and qualifications of IPCC Bureau Members. Decisions were taken at the 32nd and Sessions regarding limits to the term of office of the IPCC Chair, the IPCC Vice-Chairs and the Working Groups and Task Force Bureau Co-Chairs to one term in a particular office, applicable to subsequent elections. These decisions are reflected in a revised Appendix C to the Principles Governing IPCC Work - Procedures for the Election of the IPCC Bureau and any Task Force Bureau, adopted by the Panel at its 35th Session.
 
c. The Secretariat
At its 33rd Session, the Panel decided that the Head of the IPCC Secretariat should, in keeping with UN practice, continue to be an appointed position, and not elected, and that the functions of this position should remain largely as presently defined.
 
In addition, the Panel at its 35th Session clarified the functions of the IPCC Secretariat and Technical Support Units and how the IPCC may participate in decisions on contract renewal, employment term limit, staff appraisal, and recruitment for senior staff.
 
d. Conflict of Interest and Disclosure
The Panel at its 33rd and 34th Sessions adopted a Conflict of Interest Policy, and the Implementation Annex. It also adopted the Methods of Work of the Conflict of Interest Committee at the 35th Session.
 
e. Communications
The Panel adopted the Guidance on IPCC Communications Strategy at its 33rd Session and the IPCC Communications Strategy at its 35th Session.